Proper mowing practices are essential to your lawn's health and maintenance. Mowing too short damages grass root systems, thins the lawn, decreases drought and disease resistance, and increases your weed population. Please set your mowing height to at least 3 inches for the spring, and try not to cut off more than 1/3 of the grass blade per mowing (cut when your grass is 4-5 inches high). Keep your cutting blade sharp, and do not collect your clippings (unless you have grass clumps), as they return nutrients to the soil as they decompose.
Blowing your grass clippings into the lawn is more valuable for your lawn as it returns nutrients to the soil as they decompose.
To keep your lawn healthy this time of year, it needs one inch of rain per week. If weather is dry, we suggest watering your lawn every 5 days for an hour in each place your sprinkler covers. Watering is your first line of response to lawn disease and damage to help your lawn recover.
The dead patches in your lawn are likely the result of lawn disease/drought damage from past years. Dead grass/thatch should be removed. Add a little topsoil and re-seed these areas, or aerate and over-seed the damage areas.
The best thing you can do to fight disease on your lawn is to mow properly and keep your lawn watered. If you have lawn problems, please feel free to call us for a diagnosis. DON'T wait until the damage is bad to call us!!
If you have empty spots less than 4 inches in diameter in your lawn, fertilizing will help your grass fill most of these in (unless the spots are shade damage, disease or dog damage). Rake out dead thatch and vigorously loosen the topsoil, add some fresh topsoil and seed, then cover with straw. Sprinkle the seeded areas every day for 15 minutes; seed will germinate best when temperatures reach the mid-60's or higher. Grass seed germinates in 10-30 days. Be patient and water faithfully - but do not over-water!
This is quack grass, or other perennial field-type grass. Unlike crabgrass, which is an annual grass, these unwanted grasses can only be killed with a "Round-up" type product (which kills all grass and plants). If you choose to kill this grass, spray Round-Up at targeted grass plus an additional foot beyond, be sure targeted grass has died (takes up to 5-10 days), then tear it up, add topsoil and re-seed with a good mix of grass seed.
The light brown spots in the area where your dog went this winter are burns from his/her urine, and may not recover. You can try raking thoroughly, water heavily, and re-seed. Some people recommend gypsum to help absorb it.
If you are seeing brown patches in your lawn, go to the end of the brown patch to the green part of your lawn. Pull up on the green grass, if it pulls up like a piece of carpeting, you probably have grubs and you may see white grubs in the soil.